Emotional Deprivation Schema Treatment: Everything you need to know

Emotional Deprivation Schema Treatment

Emotional well-being serves as the cornerstone of our mental health, shaping our interactions with the world and the quality of our relationships. However, for certain individuals, early life experiences have sown seeds of emotional deprivation, giving rise to a complex psychological pattern known as the emotional deprivation schema.

In this article, we will discuss the deep dynamics of this schema, evaluating its tremendous impact on individuals and investigating how therapeutic treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and schema therapy can pave the path for healing, self-discovery, and healthier relationships.

Defining Emotional Deprivation Schema

The emotional deprivation schema stems from early childhood experiences where emotional needs were disregarded or left unmet. This forms the basis for a deep-seated belief that one is undeserving of love and care. As a result, individuals grappling with this schema often experience feelings of emptiness, loneliness, and a pervasive fear of abandonment.

Schema Therapy List Of Schemas

Schema therapy identifies a range of maladaptive schemas, which are deep-seated emotional and cognitive patterns that influence how individuals perceive themselves, others, and the world around them. Here is a list of some common schemas:

  1. Abandonment/Instability: Fear of being abandoned or left alone, often stemming from past experiences of loss or neglect.
  2. Mistrust/Abuse: Expectation that others will betray, abuse, or take advantage of you, often due to past traumas or abusive relationships.
  3. Emotional Deprivation: Feeling unfulfilled emotionally and expecting that your needs for affection, support, or nurturance won’t be met.
  4. Defectiveness/Shame: Belief that you are inherently flawed, inadequate, or undesirable, leading to feelings of shame and self-criticism.
  5. Social Isolation/Alienation: Feeling disconnected from others and a sense of not belonging, leading to social withdrawal.
  6. Dependence/Incompetence: Believing you are incapable of taking care of yourself and relying excessively on others for guidance or decision-making.
  7. Vulnerability to Harm or Illness: Excessive fear of potential dangers, accidents, or health issues, leading to hypervigilance and anxiety.
  8. Enmeshment/Undeveloped Self: Feeling unable to establish healthy boundaries and a clear sense of self due to overly close or controlling relationships.
  9. Failure to Achieve: Believing that your efforts will never lead to success or recognition, often linked to perfectionism.
  10. Entitlement/Grandiosity: Holding an inflated sense of self-importance and expecting special treatment or recognition without effort.
  11. Insufficient Self-Control/Self-Discipline: Struggling to control impulses and behaviors, leading to difficulties in managing responsibilities.
  12. Subjugation: Feeling compelled to meet the needs of others at the expense of your own, often leading to feelings of resentment.
  13. Self-Sacrifice: Sacrificing your own needs for the sake of others, leading to feelings of being unappreciated or taken advantage of.
  14. Approval-Seeking/Recognition-Seeking: Excessive need for approval, recognition, or attention from others to validate self-worth.
  15. Negativity/Pessimism: Having a pervasive negative outlook on life, often expecting the worst and downplaying positive experiences.
  16. Punitiveness: Holding harsh self-punishing beliefs and tendencies, often manifesting as self-criticism or self-sabotage.

These schemas can vary in intensity and prevalence among individuals. Schema therapy aims to identify and address these maladaptive patterns, helping individuals replace them with healthier thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It’s important to note that individuals may resonate with multiple schemas to varying degrees, and therapy is tailored to address their specific needs and challenges.

Schema Therapy List Of Schemas
Schema Therapy List Of Schemas

Benefits Of Schema Therapy

Schema therapy offers numerous benefits for individuals struggling with deep-seated emotional and cognitive patterns, known as maladaptive schemas. Here are some of the key benefits of schema therapy:

  1. Deep-Seated Change: Unlike traditional short-term therapies, schema therapy targets the core beliefs and patterns that underlie emotional difficulties. It aims to bring about profound, lasting changes by addressing the root causes of issues.
  2. Comprehensive Approach: Schema therapy integrates various therapeutic techniques, such as cognitive, behavioral, and experiential methods, to create a comprehensive and tailored treatment plan for each individual.
  3. Recognition and Awareness: Through therapy, individuals gain insight into their maladaptive schemas, helping them recognize how these patterns impact their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in everyday life.
  4. Emotion Regulation: Schema therapy helps individuals understand and manage their emotions more effectively. It teaches healthy ways to cope with intense emotions and reduce emotional distress.
  5. Self-Compassion: By addressing schemas that promote self-criticism and feelings of unworthiness, individuals learn to cultivate self-compassion and develop a healthier relationship with themselves.
  6. Improved Relationships: Schema therapy enhances interpersonal skills, helping individuals form healthier, more satisfying relationships by challenging patterns that hinder intimacy and connection.
  7. Behavioral Change: Schema therapy focuses on changing behaviors associated with maladaptive schemas, helping individuals make choices aligned with their values and goals.
  8. Resilience Building: Individuals learn to identify and challenge negative thought patterns, fostering resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges.
  9. Self-Empowerment: As individuals work through their schemas, they regain a sense of control over their lives and develop a stronger sense of self-efficacy.
  10. Self-Acceptance: Schema therapy encourages self-acceptance by addressing feelings of shame, guilt, and self-doubt, leading to improved self-esteem and self-worth.
  11. Greater Emotional Flexibility: By challenging rigid patterns of thinking and behavior, schema therapy fosters emotional flexibility, allowing individuals to respond more adaptively to a variety of situations.
  12. Holistic Healing: Schema therapy takes into account an individual’s past experiences, current emotions, and future goals, offering a holistic approach to healing and personal growth.
  13. Long-Term Results: Because schema therapy addresses deep-rooted patterns, the changes made through therapy tend to be enduring, leading to sustained improvements in overall well-being.
  14. Customized Approach: Therapists tailor schema therapy to each individual’s unique needs and schemas, ensuring that the treatment plan aligns with their personal challenges and goals.
  15. Positive Impact on Daily Life: As individuals overcome their maladaptive schemas, they often experience improved daily functioning, enhanced coping skills, and greater overall life satisfaction.

Impact on Emotional Well-Being

The emotional deprivation schema casts a shadow over individuals’ emotional well-being, influencing how they perceive themselves and engage with others. These individuals may struggle to form authentic connections, grapple with a persistent sense of unfulfillment, and find it challenging to accept love and support from others. As this schema remains unaddressed, it can erode self-esteem, hinder personal growth, and impede the development of meaningful relationships.

The Imperative of Understanding and Addressing

Understanding and addressing the emotional deprivation schema is of paramount importance for various reasons. By unraveling the roots of this schema and working towards healing, individuals can unlock their true potential for personal growth. The process of healing involves confronting long-held beliefs, rewriting negative narratives, and fostering a sense of self-compassion.

Furthermore, the impact of the emotional deprivation schema extends beyond individual well-being to interpersonal relationships. Addressing this schema can lead to improved communication, enhanced emotional intimacy, and the ability to form more meaningful connections with others. As individuals embark on this journey of self-discovery and healing, they equip themselves with the tools to cultivate healthier and more fulfilling relationships.

In the subsequent sections of this article, we will explore the components of emotional deprivation schema in greater depth, examine the therapeutic strategies that can lead to transformation, and share insights from the personal stories of individuals who have successfully navigated this journey. By shedding light on the path from emotional deprivation to self-empowerment, we aim to offer guidance and inspiration to those who are ready to embark on this transformative expedition.

Understanding Emotional Deprivation Schema

Emotional deprivation schema is a psychological framework that evolves from early life experiences where emotional needs go unmet. These experiences can shape an individual’s perception of themselves, others, and the world around them. Let’s explore what this schema entails, how it takes root during formative years, and the telltale signs that reveal its presence.

Defining Emotional Deprivation Schema

Emotional deprivation schema arises when a child’s fundamental emotional needs, such as affection, validation, and support, are consistently overlooked or unaddressed by caregivers. These unmet needs create an internal narrative that one is undeserving of emotional nourishment, leading to feelings of isolation and inadequacy. Over time, this belief becomes ingrained and can significantly influence an individual’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

Formation in Early Life Experiences

The formation of the emotional deprivation schema can be traced back to the sensitive developmental period of early childhood. During these years, individuals are highly impressionable, and their interactions with caregivers shape their foundational beliefs about themselves and their place in the world. Caregivers who are emotionally distant, inconsistent in their responsiveness, or preoccupied with their own concerns may inadvertently contribute to the development of this schema.

Signs and Symptoms

Recognizing emotional deprivation schema involves understanding its hallmark signs and symptoms that manifest in various aspects of an individual’s life:

Feelings of Emptiness: Individuals with this schema often experience a profound sense of emptiness, as if a vital emotional void needs to be filled. This emotional vacuum can lead to a persistent sense of dissatisfaction and restlessness.

Fear of Abandonment: A deep-seated fear of abandonment frequently accompanies emotional deprivation schema. Individuals worry that others will reject or leave them, reinforcing the belief that they are not worthy of lasting connections.

Difficulty Forming Deep Connections: Forming authentic, meaningful relationships can be a challenge. The fear of rejection and the belief that emotional needs will go unmet hinder the ability to engage in intimate connections.

Struggles with Self-Worth: Individuals with this schema often struggle with low self-esteem and self-worth. They may have an internal dialogue that questions their value and their right to be loved and cared for.

Avoidance of Vulnerability: To protect themselves from potential emotional pain, individuals might avoid vulnerability and emotional openness. This self-protective mechanism further isolates them from meaningful connections.

Cyclical Patterns: Emotional deprivation schema can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies. The belief of being undeserving of emotional fulfillment may cause individuals to unconsciously push others away, reinforcing the very isolation they fear.

In essence, emotional deprivation schema is a deeply ingrained pattern of beliefs and behaviors that profoundly impacts an individual’s emotional landscape. Recognizing its presence and the ways it manifests is crucial for embarking on a journey of healing and transformation. In the upcoming sections, we will explore therapeutic approaches that can address and reshape this schema, ultimately leading to enhanced emotional well-being and improved relationships.

The behavioral and cognitive approach

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a ray of hope for people who are struggling with the problems that emotional starvation schema brings. This part will talk about CBT as a powerful treatment method and show how it works to deal with this schema. We’ll look into the basic ideas that make up CBT and talk about how this type of therapy helps people change the way they think, which can lead to healing and personal growth.

Schema of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Emotional Deprivation

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that has been shown to be effective in treating emotional deprivation schema and other psychological problems. It is well-known and backed by research. CBT is based on the idea that our thoughts, feelings, and actions are all linked. It provides a structured and systematic way to find and change unhelpful thinking patterns that cause emotional distress.

CBT’s main ideas

Identifying Negative Thought Patterns: At the heart of CBT is the idea that negative thought patterns are a major cause of mental distress that keeps coming back. People with emotional deprivation schema have a lot of self-doubt, fear, and thoughts of not being good enough. People learn to recognize the negative thought patterns that are at the root of their emotional problems through guided introspection.

Cognitive Restructuring: Cognitive restructuring happens after bad thought patterns have been found. This means questioning the truth of these ideas and changing them with more realistic and balanced ones. For example, a person who thinks they are not deserving of love and care can challenge this idea by looking at evidence to the opposite and changing the way they see themselves.

Behavioral Experiments: CBT pushes people to try out their negative thought patterns through experiments that test how true they are. This hands-on method lets people find real-world evidence that goes against their beliefs that are based on their schemas. Over time, having more and more events that go against the schema chips away at its foundation, making it less strong.

Homework: People are often given tasks to do outside of therapy meetings to help them practice new ways of thinking and acting in their everyday lives. These tasks give you chances to practice and get better at skills you’ve learned in therapy.

Role of the Therapist: In an emotional deprivation schema, a CBT therapist acts as a compassionate guide who helps people learn about themselves and supports them as they try to change their thought habits. The therapeutic connection gives people a safe place to talk about their thoughts and feelings.

Giving people power and making changes

CBT works well because it is structured, the therapist and client work together, and the focus is on improving skills and giving the client more control. As people gradually start to question and change their negative thought habits, they start to feel a big change in their emotions. The emotional deprivation schema loses power as people develop healthy views of themselves. This leads to a stronger sense of self-worth and better relationships, as well as personal growth.

In the parts that follow, we’ll talk more about how CBT techniques can be used to deal with emotional deprivation schema. By following CBT’s rules, people can start a path of self-empowerment and learn to rewrite the story of their emotional health.

The Real Power of Schema Therapy

Schema therapy emerges as a transformative approach for individuals navigating the complexities of emotional deprivation schema. This section delves into the core tenets of schema therapy, highlighting its unique focus on uncovering deep-seated beliefs formed during childhood. We will explore how schema therapy goes beyond addressing surface-level thoughts, delving into the realm of deeper emotional patterns to foster profound healing and lasting transformation.

Fundamentals of Schema Therapy

Schema therapy, developed by Dr. Jeffrey E. Young, is an integrative therapeutic approach that draws from cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, and experiential techniques. Unlike traditional CBT, which primarily targets cognitive distortions, schema therapy delves into the origins of psychological issues, often rooted in early life experiences. It operates on the premise that unmet emotional needs during childhood can lead to the formation of core beliefs, known as schemas, which shape an individual’s emotional responses and behaviors.

Uncovering Core Beliefs Formed in Childhood

At the heart of schema therapy lies the recognition that emotional deprivation schema is anchored in deeply ingrained core beliefs formed in childhood. These beliefs are often unconscious and play a pivotal role in shaping an individual’s self-concept, relationships, and emotional experiences. Schema therapy aims to unearth these core beliefs by exploring significant events and experiences from the individual’s past, shedding light on how these events shaped their view of themselves and the world.

Addressing Deeper Emotional Patterns

One of the distinguishing features of schema therapy is its capacity to address not only surface-level thoughts but also the deeper emotional patterns that underlie them. Unlike short-term interventions, schema therapy acknowledges that lasting transformation requires delving into the emotional roots of psychological distress. Through experiential techniques such as imagery, role-playing, and dialogue, individuals are guided to connect with and process their unmet emotional needs, fostering healing at a profound level.

The Role of the Therapist

In schema therapy, the therapist serves as an empathetic guide, helping individuals navigate the terrain of their emotions and experiences. Therapeutic interventions are tailored to the specific schemas identified in each individual. By fostering a secure and nonjudgmental environment, therapists facilitate the exploration of painful emotions, helping individuals develop a new understanding of themselves and their core beliefs.

Lasting Healing and Transformation

The emphasis on deep-rooted core beliefs and emotional patterns positions schema therapy as a potent tool for lasting healing and transformation. By confronting the emotional wounds of the past and revisiting unmet needs, individuals can rewrite their internal narrative. As individuals gain insight into the origins of their emotional deprivation schema, they develop the capacity to challenge and reframe their beliefs, fostering authentic self-acceptance and enhancing their emotional well-being.

How to Get Better Results From Emotional Deprivation Schema

A systematic method is needed to move from an emotional deprivation schema to healing and change. In this part, we break down the treatment process into steps that people can take to start on a road of self-discovery and empowerment.

1. Being seen and accepted

The first step to getting better is to realize and accept that you have an emotional deprivation model. Be aware of how it affects your thoughts, feelings, and interactions. This first step helps you become aware of yourself and opens the door to change.

2. Fighting off bad thoughts

Use the ideas of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to change the way you think about things that aren’t good. Ask yourself if the thoughts that keep you stuck in your emotional deprivation model are true. Replace these thoughts with ones that are healthy and more balanced. This will help you feel better about yourself.

3. Looking into the past

Look into your early life to find out where your emotional deprivation model came from. Think about times when you didn’t meet your emotional needs and how that affected your core views about yourself. Understanding where your schemas come from is a key part of the healing and change process.

4. Validating yourself and re-parenting

Learn how to validate yourself and take care of yourself. Give yourself the mental support and validation you may have been missing in the past. Develop self-compassion and learn how to take care of your inner kid. This will help you feel emotionally fulfilled.

5. Experiments on Behavior

Real-life behavioral experiments can be used to test ideas that are based on schemas. Find situations that challenge your negative views and give you proof that they are wrong. When you do these trials, your emotional deprivation schema slowly loses its hold on you.

6. How to Build Good Relationships

Accept the part that schema therapy can play in helping you make and keep healthy relationships. Learn how to communicate better, how to set limits, and how to deal with emotional closeness. As you make your relationships healthier, you build an environment that will help you on your healing journey.

7. Assignments and drills

On the path to change, consistency is very important. Make a promise to use the skills you learn in therapy in your everyday life. Do the homework you were given, think about yourself, and use your new ways of thinking and acting in different scenarios.

Adapting Therapeutic Approaches:

Dr. Ghulam Hassan’s Evolution in Lahore, Pakistan”

In the pursuit of evolving his practice, Dr. Ghulam Hassan encountered a diverse array of challenging cases that left him feeling stuck. Each client’s unique issues demanded fresh ideas, pushing him to tailor his approach continuously. The core of his practice lies in understanding the individuality of his clients and determining the most fitting therapy for each if any at all.

Upon starting his own practice, Dr. Ghulam Hassan encountered clients grappling with multiple concerns. He realized that a therapy effective for depression might have minimal impact on someone with borderline or multiple personality disorder.

The complexity arose when patients exhibited various schemas during their visits, making it a puzzle to assist them. Schemas alone were insufficient for borderline cases. Clients shifting between different personalities demanded a fresh approach. The challenge was adapting to these shifts.

Dr. Ghulam Hassan’s insight led him to consider states, not just schemas, as clients transitioned between emotional states within sessions. By naming these states, he found a new way to approach his clients.

He noticed that certain clients had consistent modes they entered. For instance, a borderline client might manifest several distinct inner child modes. These modes were intense, often without easy control, and shifting between them was challenging.

Clients with personality disorders exhibited shifts from one state to another, causing some parts of themselves to dissociate. Parts like healthiness, anger, or punishment were pushed aside as the dominant state took over. The intensity of these shifts varied.

Personal Stories of Transformation

Within the context of the emotional deprivation schema, the United Kingdom witnessed profound journeys of healing, led by the expert guidance of Chief Psychiatrist Dr. Ghulam Hassan, conducted through Skype. These accounts illuminate the paths of six individuals, each transcending their emotional schemas with determination, embracing positive changes that enriched their lives.

1. Eleanor’s Voyage of Self-Rediscovery

Eleanor’s upbringing left emotional voids, fostering self-doubt and unworthiness. Under Chief Psychiatrist Dr. Ghulam Hassan’s virtual guidance, Eleanor embarked on a journey of self-discovery through schema therapy. As negative self-perceptions were challenged, self-compassion emerged. Eleanor learned to treat herself with kindness, forging deeper connections that celebrated her newfound sense of worth.

2. Oliver’s Path to Vulnerability

Vulnerability was uncharted territory for Oliver, his schema thwarting deeper relationships. Chief Psychiatrist Dr. Ghulam Hassan’s virtual sessions enabled Oliver to unravel the vulnerability’s significance. Role-play and experiential exercises dismantled fear, replacing it with authentic emotional sharing. With walls down, Oliver experienced genuine connections, unveiling layers of joy and fulfillment.

3. Ava’s Liberation from Isolation

Ava’s emotional schema kept her in isolation, yearning for connection. Chief Psychiatrist Dr. Ghulam Hassan’s virtual therapy empowered Ava to explore her roots and challenge the notion of undesirability. Gradually, Ava ventured into social interactions, transforming her isolation into belonging. Connections formed, enriching her life with newfound meaning.

4. Liam’s Reclamation of Self-Esteem

Liam’s self-esteem battled erosion, hindered by negative beliefs. Under Chief Psychiatrist Dr. Ghulam Hassan’s virtual care, cognitive restructuring flourished. Self-affirmation exercises rebuilt Liam’s self-concept. Empowered, Liam pursued aspirations with newfound confidence, embodying self-value and purpose.

5. Grace’s Embrace of Authentic Expression

Grace’s schema silenced her emotions, fearing rejection. Chief Psychiatrist Dr. Ghulam Hassan’s virtual platform fostered emotional exploration. Journaling and creative outlets allowed Grace’s voice to emerge. Vulnerability brought connections rooted in authenticity, validating Grace’s emotions and nurturing empowerment.

6. Daniel’s Liberation from Fear

Daniel’s schema bred fear of abandonment, stifling connections. Chief Psychiatrist Dr. Ghulam Hassan’s virtual therapy confronted fear’s grip. With the therapist’s support, Daniel rewrote his narrative, embracing assertiveness. As fear waned, genuine connections emerged, liberating Daniel from isolation’s grasp.

The Journey of Self-Discovery in Dr. Ghulam Hassan’s View

Chief Psychiatrist Dr. Ghulam Hassan approaches the healing process of emotional deprivation schema as more than just resolving past issues. To him, it is a profound journey of self-discovery, a transformative expedition that goes beyond healing wounds to uncovering the essence of one’s true self. As individuals traverse this path under his guidance, they not only shed the shackles of their emotional schemas but also cultivate a stronger sense of self and forge deeper, more authentic connections with others.

Going Beyond Resolving Past Issues

Dr. Ghulam Hassan believes that emotional deprivation schema’s grip is rooted in past experiences that shaped one’s core beliefs. However, the journey of healing extends far beyond merely addressing those past wounds. It is an opportunity for individuals to explore the intricate tapestry of their emotions, thoughts, and experiences. It’s about unraveling the layers that have obscured their authentic selves, gaining a clearer understanding of their desires, fears, and aspirations.

The Path of Self-Discovery

In Dr. Ghulam Hassan’s view, healing from emotional deprivation schema is akin to embarking on a profound journey of self-discovery. This journey involves introspection, self-reflection, and a willingness to confront and challenge one’s deep-seated beliefs. As individuals engage in therapy, they navigate the labyrinth of their emotions, connecting dots between their past and present experiences. This process fosters a deeper awareness of their patterns, triggers, and coping mechanisms.

Cultivating a Stronger Sense of Self

As individuals delve into the recesses of their emotional landscape, they begin to cultivate a stronger sense of self. Dr. Ghulam Hassan emphasizes the importance of self-awareness, which allows individuals to distinguish between their authentic selves and the narratives imposed by their schemas. Through this self-awareness, they learn to recognize their strengths, values, and aspirations, creating a foundation upon which they can build a more fulfilling and authentic life.

Forging Deeper Connections with Others

Dr. Ghulam Hassan believes that the journey of self-discovery inherently leads to the ability to forge deeper, more authentic connections with others. As individuals shed the limitations of their schemas, they become more attuned to their emotions and better equipped to communicate their needs and vulnerabilities. This newfound authenticity enhances their ability to connect with others on a genuine level, fostering relationships based on mutual understanding, empathy, and trust.

Emotional Deprivation Schema Treatment

With the help of Chief Psychiatrist Dr. Ghulam Hassan, we took a deep dive into the concept of emotional depletion schema in this long blog post. We looked at how this schema affects people’s mental health and relationships and tried to figure out where it comes from and what problems it causes. From the cognitive-behavioral method to the power of schema therapy, we learned about different ways to help people break free from their emotional schemas.

We ventured into the transformative stories of individuals who, under Dr. Ghulam Hassan’s guidance, conquered their schemas and embraced positive change. These tales illuminated the path from recognition to acceptance, from challenging negative thoughts to developing healthier relationships. Through self-validation, behavioral experiments, and consistent practice, these individuals rewrote their narratives, creating lives marked by authenticity, self-compassion, and meaningful connections.

Encouragement to Take the Journey

As we conclude this exploration, we encourage you, the reader, to embark on your own journey of healing and self-discovery. The significance of addressing emotional deprivation schema cannot be overstated. Beyond resolving past issues, this journey unveils your authentic self, empowers you to cultivate self-compassion, and equips you with the tools to foster meaningful connections with others.

Additional Resources for Further Exploration

For those eager to delve deeper into the realm of emotional deprivation schema and its treatment, we offer a selection of recommended resources:


  1. Reinventing Your Life: The Breakthrough Program to End Negative Behavior and Feel Great Again” by Jeffrey E. Young and Janet S. Klosko
  2. “Schema Therapy: A Practitioner’s Guide” by Jeffrey E. Young, Janet S. Klosko, and Marjorie E. Weishaar
  3. “The Compassionate Mind: A New Approach to Life’s Challenges” by Paul Gilbert


  1. “Understanding and Overcoming Emotional Deprivation Schema” by Psych Central
  2. “Breaking Free from Emotional Deprivation Schema” by Psychology Today


  1. SchemaTherapy.com: A comprehensive resource on schema therapy and its applications
  2. Mind.org.uk: Information and support for mental health concerns

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